Xikrin - Marriage and Family



Domestic Unit. A basic institution is the extended family, which is linked through the female line. Residence is uxorilocal, and with the birth of the first son the marriage begins to have more stability. Women of the household do their work together and spend the greater part of their time in the home. Men's work is performed outside the home, in the forest or the men's house, where they make artifacts and ornaments, and which is also their meeting place.

Socialization. The traditional form of educating children is through participant observation of daily life. Adults orient and correct informally, and sometimes teach groups of children songs, choreography, and ritual sequences in a more systematic way. More specific activities can be learned individually with a specialist. Punishment, or rather pressure, is exerted by parents and the community with regard to deviant behavior, which is met with ridicule or slight ostracism. Work that is well done is publicly admired and praised. Education proceeds by stages that loosely correspond to age categories and the sexual division of labor. By the time they reach adulthood, all women know how to body paint and men how to hunt.


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